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Dog Licensing in Delaware

paw print iconIntroduction

paw print iconGeneral Information

paw print iconLicense Requirements

paw print iconLicensing Fees

paw print iconWhere to Purchase

paw print iconQuestions/More Info

License being attached to dog's collar

Introduction

All dogs six months and older in the State of Delaware must be licensed as required by law.

According to Patrick Emory, Director of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, purchasing a license and attaching it to your dog’s collar is one of the most important things an owner can do to protect their dog.

“Each year hundreds of dogs are lost or separated from their owners. A dog license is the best way to ensure that if this happens, a dog and its owner can be reunited safely and quickly,” he said.

Funds from license sales help support the statewide dog control program.

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General Information

As of January 1, 2010, dog licensing in the State of Delaware is no longer administered by the State. Previously issued State administered dog licenses remain valid and you will not be required to obtain a new County license until your current State license expires.

 Dog owners residing in Wilmington must get a City of Wilmington dog license. All other residents of the State must get a dog license from the County in which they reside. All licenses will be valid statewide regardless of the County of residence. City of Wilmington residents do not need a New Castle County license in addition to the City license.

Dog licenses are available that cover one to three calendar years. All licenses expire on December 31st of the appropriate license year purchased.

Example: A one, two or three-year license purchased February 2, 2010 will expire December 31, 2010 for a one-year license, December 31, 2011 for a two-year license, and December 31, 2012 for a three-year license. State law allows a 60 day grace period for obtaining a dog license after it has expired, which means that all licenses must be obtained by March 1st of the following year.

Dog owners should attach the license tag to a collar, and the tag should be worn by the dog at all times. A paper license will be provided along with the tag, and should be retained as the tag alone is not always sufficient proof of licensing. License tags do not have to be worn while the dog is involved in the act hunting, but you must have valid identification on the dog, and a valid dog license and tag must be available for inspection. Fines maybe be incurred for an unlicensed dog.

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License Requirements

All dogs six months and older as of January 1st of a given calendar year must be licensed for that year. If your dog turns six months old between January 1st and March 1st of any year, the March 1st requirement applies. If the dog turns six months on or after March 1st, you must license the dog at that time for the current year.

A rabies vaccination certificate that has been signed or stamped by a veterinarian, including vaccination and expiration dates, is required to get a license. The limiting factor for a one, two, or three-year license is the expiration date of the rabies certificate. The rabies certificate must be valid through March 1st of each year that you intend to license your dog (or in other words, the rabies expiration date must occur after March 1st of the year of the dog license you are trying to purchase expires).

Example: You purchase your dog license February 1, 2010. If your rabies certificate expires April 12, 2010 you would only be able to buy a one-year license. If it expires April 12, 2011, you would be able to buy a two-year license and if it expires April 12, 2012 you would be able to buy a three-year license. If it expires before March 1st, you must have your dog vaccinated before getting the license for the current calendar year or for a subsequent year.

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Licensing Fees

The cost of a license varies based on whether your dog has been spayed or neutered (S/N), and the license term. You may also be charged an Agent's Fee for County licenses at the discretion of the issuing agent. The term of the license you are able to purchase is based on the expiration date of your dog's rabies vaccination.

Special services dogs (trained seeing eye, lead, or guide dogs) and dogs which have served in the military must be licensed but are exempt from paying a license fee. Proof of service training completion and military service is required.

City of Wilmington

1 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog


$10
$15
3 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog
 

$25
$40

New Castle County

1 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog
Senior/Disabled Owner


$10  
$15  
$4   
2 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog
Senior/Disabled Owner


$20  
$30  
$5   
3 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog
Senior/Disabled Owner


$30
$45
$6

DHA charges a $2 Agent's Fee in addition to the fees listed above for New Castle County licenses purchased at the shelter.

Dog owners who are disabled or 65 years of age or older are eligible to receive a discounted rate. Proof of disability assistance or proof of age such as a copy of your driver’s license or any other document which includes your date of birth is required. A Disability Affidavit can also be downloaded from www2.nccde.org/doglicenses.

Kent County

1 Year License

S/N Dog
S/N Dog after March 1st
Non S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog after March 1st  
$8
$10  
$12
$15
3 Year License

S/N Dog
S/N Dog after March 1st 
Non S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog after March 1st  
$20
$25
$30
$37.50

Fees for previously unlicensed dogs purchased or acquired after March 1st and before December 31st of any year will be prorated for the balance of the licensing year at a rate of $1 per month for S/N dogs, and $1.25 per month for Non S/N dogs.

Sussex County

1 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog


$10
$15
2 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog


$20
$30
3 Year License

S/N Dog
Non S/N Dog


$30
$45

A service fee of $3.95 will automatically be added to the fees listed above for Sussex County licenses that are purchased online.

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Where to Purchase

City of Wilmington residents:

  • In person at Delaware Humane Association

New Castle County residents:

  • Online at petdata.com/cs/ncc

  • Mail in application with a check or money order payable to New Castle County Dog Licensing, a copy of your dog’s current rabies vaccination certificate, and (if applicable) proof of spay/neuter to: New Castle County Dog Licensing, c/o Pet Data, PO Box 141929, Irving, TX 75014. The application can be downloaded at www2.nccde.org/doglicenses or petdata.com/cs/ncc/mail.htm, or picked up at one of the locations listed below.

  • In person at the New Castle County Government Center, Delaware Humane Association, DHA Vaccination Clinics, New London Veterinary, Kent County SPCA, and Dogtopia

Kent County residents:

  • In person at the Kent County Levy Court Office (Room 243) at 555 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901. The application can be downloaded at co.kent.de.us/dog-licensing.aspx.

  • Mail in application with a check or money order and a copy of your dog’s current rabies vaccination certificate, and (if applicable) proof of spay/neuter to the Kent County Levy Court Office (Room 243) at 555 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901. The application can be downloaded at co.kent.de.us/dog-licensing.aspx.

Sussex County residents:

  • Online at sussexcountyde.gov/purchase-license

  • Mail in application with a check or money order and a copy of your dog’s current rabies vaccination certificate, and (if applicable) proof of spay/neuter to: Sussex County Dog Licensing Office, PO Box 589, Georgetown, DE 19947. The application can be downloaded at sussexcountyde.gov/purchase-license or picked up at the location listed below.

  • In person at the Sussex County Dog Licensing Office (Office 142), 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947

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Have Questions or Need More Info?

City of Wilmington residents

Mayor’s Office of  Constituent Services/Cityhelp Hotline
(302) 576-CITY (2489)
cityhelp@ci.wilmington.de.us
City of Wilmington website

New Castle County residents

PetData
(877) 730-6347
info@petdata.com
petdata.com/cs/ncc

Kent County residents

Kent County Levy Court
(302) 744-2300
Kent County website

Sussex County residents

Sussex County Dog Licensing Office
(302) 855-7380
Sussex County website

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